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Curtain and blind surgery

old blinds

This window has new curtains and blinds! I don’t blame you if you can’t exactly feel the excitement, but it’s exciting to me.

Here’s how it was looking after I refinished the window frame in our bedroom. Getting that done was well and good, but the next task was to tackle the pile of curtains and blinds that had been sitting in the corner, staring me down for the last six months. There it is over on the right, hiding but not really.

The pinky-putty aluminum venetians were okay, and I knew they were custom-made for these windows, but we wanted to upgrade to a curtain/blind combo for a couple reasons. Sheer roller blinds would allow light and privacy during the day, while lined curtains would provide privacy and a degree of insulation at night.

hanging ENJE blind

With that decided, we collected a pile of furnishings — three sheer roller blinds, a set of curtains and curtain liners — on a side trip to IKEA when we were in Sydney a few months back. (The blinds fit in our luggage, except the 1m blind which had to be wrapped in brown paper and checked as a separate piece of luggage.) There were other options — Spotlight, Bunnings, custom treatments — but the hassle of IKEA felt worth it to me. (I made curtains for the living room, which, my #1 lesson learned there: DIY is not always cheaper than buying new, especially with textiles.)

  1. Window treatments cost a bomb, and for being so inexpensive, the shades and curtains I picked up actually look half decent. The LENDA curtains are 100% cotton with a textured, linen-esque weave, and the ENJE roller shades are nicely sheer and come with metal hardware.
  2. None of the bedroom windows are a standard size and I knew these IKEA furnishings would be easy to customize myself, as I’d read a few stories of people cutting down their ENJE shades. I took my lead from Door Sixteen’s detailed tutorial.
  3. Buying readymade IKEA curtain liners was literally cheaper than buying semi-lucent blockout fabric and sewing on curtain backings myself.

So yeah. I got my window furnishings, I fixed up the window itself, and then it was time to send the curtains and blinds into surgery.

ENJE blind cutting process

ENJE roller blind surgery (as seen on: Door Sixteen, Making It Lovely)

  1. Measure the blind and window; the difference is what needs to be cut.
  2. Pop an end cap off the bottom rod and slide the blind out.
  3. Along the entire length of the blind, measure out the bit that needs to be cut. Mark in a few places with a pencil, then connect the marks with a straight edge.
  4. Cut carefully along the marked edge. Once you get to the base rod, use a stanley knife to slice off the excess fabric wrapped around the rod.
  5. Cut through the base rod, using whatever metal-cutting saw you’ve got (in this case, a $4 hacksaw — hey, it gets the job done).
  6. Reassemble the blind and, if desired, scrape off the ginormous safety-hazard sticker with a stanley knife and eucalyptus oil.

LENDA curtain alteration

LENDA curtain surgery

This was simpler than cutting down the roller blinds. All I wanted to do was convert the tab-tops into hooks and rings. Less casual than tab-tops, pockets or grommets, less fussy than any style of pleat. That was what I used when I made our living room curtains, and I like ‘em.

I carefully cut off each tab, stitched the gaps closed, and then attached curtain pleat tape along the top edge. Easy to pop in a few hooks and then hang them off rings. The liners needed hemming, but the curtains were fine — I hung them so they just hover over the floor.


Results! I’ll be glad not to think about this window again anytime soon.

I’m happy with how the curtains and blinds function, of course, but I do like how the ‘natural’ (light beige) curtains, timber window frames and dark walls go together. It’s a small room, so I want it to feel minimal and soothing, yet cozy.

(The star quilt, if you’re curious, is one I made.)

sheer ENJE blind

When I hung my curtains, I attached GLANSNAVA curtain liners to them, which come with tape and clips so it’s easy to attach them to curtains or put them on hooks. Together, they’re still not fully blackout shades, but they’re blackout enough.

This gives you an idea of how sheer the ENJE blinds are. I get to check out the scenery, like our recycling bin waiting for pickup. How’s the serenity.

curtains full

Small room, big window, so it’s a bit tricky to get a photo of the full thing. (One day I might even learn how to take photos of rooms without major blowout in the windows!) That’s a 3m (10ft) rod, the longest curtain conduit available without going to a specialty shop.

Bedroom curtains

There’s more stuff I want to sort out for this room (the light fixture, the headboard), but things are coming together.

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